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posted by girlwhowaspluggedout on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:00AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the but-does-it-still-taste-fresh dept.

hubie writes:

"A group at the Institut de Microbiologie de la Mediterranee, Aix Marseille Universite, revived a "giant" virus that had been embedded in permafrost for approximately 30,000 years. The virus was found in the tundra near East Siberia and is thus named Pithovirus sibericum. It is the latest entry in the class of large viruses called Megaviridae, which are so large that they are visible under an ordinary optical microscope:

P. sibericum is, on the scale of viruses, a giant - it has 500 genes, whereas the influenza virus has only eight.

This particular virus is harmless to humans and animals, but it demonstrates there could be unknown health repercussions as more permafrost thaws as the result of a warming planet."

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by edIII on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:02AM

    by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:02AM (#10480)

    30,000 years old and a giant? They've made horror sci-fi out of much less..

    --
    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:05AM (#10483)

      Why can't we cover something that /. hasn't yet covered ?

      • (Score: 1) by Taibhsear on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:57PM

        by Taibhsear (1464) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:57PM (#10700)

        Simpsons did it!

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hubie on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:05PM

        by hubie (1068) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:05PM (#10760) Journal

        To be fair, it wasn't up on Slashdot when I submitted it (I did check). I feel the same way as you and I would prefer to submit non-overlapping stories. Obviously overlap is unavoidable if the story is interesting enough, and I wouldn't want this site to marginalize itself by only posting stories that aren't on Slashdot.

    • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:12AM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:12AM (#10506) Journal

      No horror movie potential. You still need a microscope. Now this bacteria on the other hand, at 0.75mm, can be seen with the naked eye: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiomargarita_namibie nsis [wikipedia.org]

      Now you've got a plot device -- you could film people being infected by an Evil Genius' GM version, modded to infect humans. Someone goes swimming and all of sudden, a cloud of fluorescent green giant bacteria gloms onto them and turns them into infectious mermaid-like zombies, spewing ever more bacteria where ever they swim. Florida quickly succumbs.

      • (Score: 1) by sjames on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:19AM

        by sjames (2882) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:19AM (#10510) Journal

        Why not. Florida already appears to be the home state of the face eating zombie and some sort of disease that causes pathological indecision. And they have cops that have to taze little girls so they don't get beat up.

    • (Score: 1) by monster on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:33AM

      by monster (1260) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:33AM (#10558) Journal

      Virusnado?

      Nope, not enough of a punchline.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Ryuugami on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:50AM

        by Ryuugami (2925) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:50AM (#10562)

        Virusnado?
        Nope, not enough of a punchline.

        Virushark!

        --
        If a shit storm's on the horizon, it's good to know far enough ahead you can at least bring along an umbrella. - D.Weber
    • (Score: 1) by cykros on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:51PM

      by cykros (989) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:51PM (#10740)

      It's the Syfy channel now, and the fact that this would make decent science fiction is precisely why there's no chance they'd cover it. But if you're looking for WWE "wrestling", you've found the right channel!

      • (Score: 3) by edIII on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:04PM

        by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:04PM (#10871)

        I abso-fucking-lutely refuse to participate in their full-retard re-branding of their image! :)

        Honestly. It's ridiculous. Were they trying to be "hip" and "with it" or "down with the peeps"?

        Not that it matters all that much. They have nothing really worth watching anymore and their execs totally screwed the pooch with overlays that make it impossible to watch.

        I think I stopped watching them even before the rebranding, and that was really just for Stargate franchises. Of which I torrented to get rid of those overlays, that honest to god, actually interfered. There was more than one where the main actor in the scene was pointing towards something or somebody, and that happened to be an obnoxious moving advert for Purely Scientific Ghost Hunters.

        When they started making stuff like giant vampiric ill-tempered zombie beavers I realized it was like playing on an elementary school playground. Fun for a minute, and then you ask yourself, "What the fuck am I doing? I'm an adult dammit".

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 1) by Joe Desertrat on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:14PM

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:14PM (#10881)

      30,000 years old and a giant? They've made horror sci-fi out of much less..

      More like they've made horrible sci-fi out of much more.

  • (Score: 2) by AnonTechie on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:17AM

    by AnonTechie (2275) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:17AM (#10489) Journal

    What could possibly go wrong ? It didn't end so well in X-Files, Fringe, etc ... would it be different here !

    --
    Albert Einstein - "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by gottabeme on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:31AM

    by gottabeme (1531) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:31AM (#10494)

    "it demonstrates there could be unknown health repercussions as more permafrost thaws as the result of a warming planet."

    The scare tactics have hit a new low. Pathetic.

    • (Score: 1) by fermento on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:24PM

      by fermento (1069) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:24PM (#10783)

      This was my first thought also. With all of the discussions about global warming and what may or may not happen, they throw in the worry about the thawing of potential biological weapons of mass destruction.

      "Well, we predict that all of the coastal cities will be under water, millions relocated, weather patterns disrupted, super storms, cats and dogs living together, food shortages, etc. Oh and by the way, giant ancient viruses will be freed from their confinement to potentially wreak havoc on the Earth."

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by gottabeme on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:35AM

    by gottabeme (1531) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @07:35AM (#10496)

    "Unlike the flu virus, though, P. sibericum is harmless to humans and animals, for it only infects a type of amoeba called Acanthamoeba, the researchers said."

    How do they know what it can and cannot infect? Not accusing them of being wrong, just curious.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Bokononist on Tuesday March 04 2014, @09:21AM

      by Bokononist (3013) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @09:21AM (#10531)

      They don't. I'd be willing to bet that the virus is being looked at under very controlled conditions. In fact it would be insane if they didn't, I'm off to to RTFA now brb.

      --
      Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by prospectacle on Tuesday March 04 2014, @10:00AM

    by prospectacle (3422) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @10:00AM (#10537) Journal

    "Somehow one escaped through this fifty foot, barbed-wire fence."

    "I tried to tell you, life will find a way."

    --
    If a plan isn't flexible it isn't realistic
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by gishzida on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:41AM

    by gishzida (2870) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @11:41AM (#10560) Journal

    Pithovirus sibericum sounds like something you get from a virtual lap dance at a pr0n site.

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by ngarrang on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:19PM

    by ngarrang (896) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:19PM (#10671) Journal

    ...welcome our new giant resurrected virus overlord.

  • (Score: 1) by cykros on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:56PM

    by cykros (989) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:56PM (#10747)

    And perhaps the sabre tooth tigers. And you know, the other animals that might be affected by this virus.

    While I'm generally okay with various measures that'd also combat theoretical climate change (other than carbon taxes...sheesh), it's shit like this this that has turned it into a laughing stock.

    All agendas aside, I'm curious to see if this gives us a better understanding of the evolution of virii over the millenia, and perhaps some other insights into the time period at the microscopic (or not so microscopic) level.